The other day I was happily watching videos on Youtube. Then I got the warning that only 10% of my high-speed allowance for using my phone as a hotspot was left. Shortly after that I was also warned that our Mifi was in a similar situation. Then yesterday the dreaded notification that for the rest of the billing cycle “data speed has been reduced to up to 600 Kbps”. I think of this time before our 4G resets as the “Internet Drought”.
You see this happens every month. When during the month really depends on if we have visitors, if we binge on Netflix, and how much we go into our office. Our office has an unlimited 1 gig connections.
In the US services and devices are not designed for a set-up like ours. Where we have unlimited access at the office, but have to be frugal with our highspeed at home. The frugalness can be the difference between having to leave home for an early morning video call and being able to take it at the kitchen table. We have a Chromecast hooked to a project at home as our entertainment center. Here’s the thing, even if you have a movie completed downloaded to your phone the Chromecast still streams it. This means if I’m watching something alone I just watch on my phone.
We are the fortunate ones in our community though. We are able to afford the $250 a month the fiber connection costs at our office (quite expensive compared to a city where you might pay half). We also have a signal at our house so we can use a mobile network.
Some might be tempted to mention there are better priced mobile plans with other providers. Guess what? We don’t have signal with those providers. Our mifi is attached to an antenna on the roof so that we have a decent signal on rainy days. Many people in our community have no signal from any carrier at home, so they can’t even do this.
CenturyLink the main provider for the lucky ones that have it told the Guardian, “Based on our current plans and timeline, we have no plans at this time to build out our infrastructure in this area.” I’ve done a little research to see what it might take to create a community ISP, though so far I haven’t seen much will to do that in the community. I don’t blame anyone for that though, it is a huge task especially in an area where everyone is so spread out. Most of the current initiatives are focused on lobbying for access.
Well, I guess I’ll go read a book until the Internet drought is over.